MALVERN’S DONINGTON DATE WITH DESTINY


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Scott Malvern is determined to get back to winning ways at Donington this weekend. Photo: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Scott Malvern, his season-long grip on the lead of the 2010 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain recently loosened by title rival Scott Pye, has promised to come out fighting at Donington Park this weekend in a bid to get his challenge back on track.

Most of all, says the Ilford-based 21-year-old, he wants more wins to add to the two he has already notched up in his Cliff Dempsey Racing-prepared Ray. “To end the year with only two wins is not something I would be happy with,” says Malvern. “I just want to go out and get some more wins under my belt. If the championship comes, then it comes, but I want to feel that I have given it a good go.”

That this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship meeting at Donington is the Leicestershire circuit’s first major event since its reopening passes Malvern by a little, for he has never raced there: “My first experience of it was in testing last week. It’s a brilliant track and I really enjoyed it. It was a very encouraging test, because after the problems we had at Brands Hatch the previous weekend the car was really good at Donington, even on the same tyres.”

Five races remain in which to decide the outcome of the championship – three this weekend and two the week after, at Brands Hatch – and the only thing which can be said with any confidence is that the 2010 champion will be called Scott.

It could be Australian Scott Pye who lifts the title to become the sixth successive Mygale-driving champion for the Jamun Racing team, or English Scott, who is bidding to become the first Ray driver to clinch the British championship. It is Pye who is in the driving seat, having won 11 races to Malvern’s two, but the Aussie leads the Brit by only four points.

That’s because of two early-season non-finishes for Pye, which allowed Malvern to lead the points standings from April until earlier this month. Malvern has scored in every race, the only driver to do so, and must thus discard his two worst scores, currently totalling 26 points. Pye’s two no-scores mean he will not have to discard any scoring finishes, but it also means that a non-finish this weekend could prove disastrous for him.

But the Scotts are not the only stars of the show: there have been six different race winners this season, with Josh Hill, son of 1996 World Champion Damon, coming on strong in recent meetings as he eyes a potential third place championship finish. Jamun driver Hill’s target for the weekend will be to out-score both JTR Mygale man and Zandvoort race winner Daniel Cammish, and the extremely rapid Finn, Antti Buri, whose Enigma Motorsport Mygale has become a regular feature of the lead battle in recent races.

Emil Bernstorff, the Portugal-domiciled Dane, is also emerging as a likely race winner for Jamun, and JTR’s quick Cypriot, Tio Ellinas, is looking for a return to the podium’s top step after his twin wins at Rockingham in July. The other championship top-10 men are Jake Cook, the 17-year-old nephew of former BTCC racer Paula, JTR’s James Tucker and Dan de Zille, the son of 1980s Donington regular (and 1983 FF1600 BP Superfind Champion) Graham, who races a Mygale prepared by Minister International.

There’s a battle on for victory in the Scholarship class also, the winner of which will land the very valuable prize of a loan Van Diemen chassis and Scholar engine for the 2011 season. A nasty crash last time out put Raysport driver Tristan Mingay out for the weekend and allowed Juno pilot Luke Williams to move into the class championship lead with a 15-point advantage. Williams has won the class 10 times to Mingay’s seven as they head into the home straight.

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